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Atlanta Public School Educators Begin Reporting To Jail In Cheating Scandal (Video)

According to a state report in 2011, more than 150 teachers and administrators from 44 public schools across Atlanta were caught cheating on standardized tests used to judge student performance and rank schools.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal predicted that "many of those cases could lead to criminal prosecutions."

 Eighty-two of the teachers flat-out confessed. The 800-page report said the cheating has been going on for nearly a decade. It first came to light when the state noticed an alarming number of erasure marks on the answer sheets.

Last week, a Fulton County grand jury indicted 35 of those educators, "including principals, teachers and testing coordinators" and they were ordered to turn themselves in by Tuesday.

 CNN reported "by 7:30 p.m., 18 of 35 educators had turned themselves in at the Fulton County Jail to face charges including racketeering, theft by taking and making false statements about their roles in an alleged plot to falsify students' standardized tests."

The former superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools was among the educators who surrendered to authorities Tuesday after being indicted by a grand jury in a cheating scandal that rocked the district and drew national attention.

Beverly Hall resigned from her position in 2011 after a state investigation into large, unexplained test score gains in some Atlanta schools. She has denied any role in the cheating scandal.

In 2009, Hall was named the National Superintendent of the Year by the Schools Superintendents Association, which at the time said her "leadership has turned Atlanta into a model of urban school reform."

In reality under her leadership, the Atlanta school system turned into a culture of cheating.

 “We were told to get these scores by any means necessary,” said Sidnye Fells, a fourth grade teacher in 2011.  “We were told our jobs were on the line.”

According to Fells,  teachers who refused to cheat were punished and pushed out. She resigned in 2008 partly due to that pressure.

 CNN interviewed former GA Atty General, Mike Bowers who helped investigate the cheating scandal. He said they were able to confirm cheating in over forty schools. "We had six principals who took the fifth Amendment and wouldn't even talk to us", he said. "We had cheating all up and down the line."


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